The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reopened the comment period on a proposal to exempt certain insulin-using diabetic truck and bus drivers from federal licensing restrictions.
Under current rules, drivers with diabetes mellitus who require insulin to control their condition are not qualified for an interstate CDL. Many states license diabetic drivers but restrict them to intrastate operation.
Last August FMCSA proposed a program to issue exemptions to drivers who have held state-issued commercial licenses for the previous three years and have a clean driving record.
Applicants would have to provide complete medical histories and undergo thorough medical examinations to make sure they have no other disqualifying conditions, including diabetes-related complications. They would be required to carry prescribed medical supplies, including a glucose monitor with memory, and would have to check glucose before starting to drive and every two to four hours while driving. If glucose falls above or below prescribed levels, they would have to stop driving and take appropriate action.
The comment period closed Oct. 1, 2001. The notice of proposal referenced the preliminary findings of a risk study, but methodology and final findings had not been approved by FMCSA and were not available to the public. FMCSA has since placed a copy of the final report, "A Study of the Risk Associated with the Operation of Commercial Motor Vehicles by Drivers with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus," in the docket and is reopening the comment period.
Comments are due Feb. 4, 2002. Additional information, including comments received and the above referenced study, can be found at http://dms.dot.gov. Reference docket number FMCSA-2001-9800.
In its most recent Recruitment & Retention Survey, Driver iQ found that, by and large, fleets expect to raise truck driver wages and offer more bonuses while turnover continues to increase.